Is it only a Quarter? - Beware of Bad Manners | Divine Lifestyle
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Is it only a Quarter? – Beware of Bad Manners

Last night, as we usually do almost daily every week, we went out to dinner as a family. My son picked the place. Well actually he asked if we could go to the restaurant with the hamburger handles. That is Fuddruckers.

I love me some Fuddruckers. The husband, not so much but sometimes he is agreeable so we get to go. [We usually try to go some place that everyone likes.]

We had about 20 minutes to play around once we get there because we were waiting for my mother who was going to meet us. We spend our time at the little game area that they have (when I say little, we are talking 20 feet by 10 feet). We get about $10 in quarters and let the kids have some fun.

The kids are having a great time when they suddenly discover the bouncy ball machine. They start jumping around like monkeys wanting to get bouncy balls. They each take turns putting two quarters in and getting their bouncy balls.

Then the havoc ensues. They start bouncing these things all over the place and having a great time. There was some yelling (some by me and some by the kids) and suddenly one out of three balls is gone.

My son then puts another quarter in the machine. However, he realizes that he does not  have another quarter. No one does. So my husband heads over to the change machine to get a little more money.

My son and I are standing there guarding his quarter in the machine. My husband is having a hard time with the change machine because he has one of those unacceptable crumpled bills. I head over to my husband to see if I have any bills that may make it through the machine.

All of sudden a little girl runs up to the machine with a few dollars in quarters in her hand. My son tells her that he has a quarter of his own in the machine and that is just waiting for his daddy to bring him another quarter. I am about three feet away at the change machine. I can hear the entire conversation.

The little girl says ok and goes to play on another machine. This machine is the kind with the claw that drops down to possibly grab a prize. Her game is over in less than 20 seconds.

She comes right back to the bouncy ball machine. I tell the little girl that we have to go up front to get change and that my husband will be right back. I then turn around to see what my other two children are doing in the game area.

The little girl goes around me right back over to the machine that my son is standing at and puts one quarter in to get a bouncy ball leaving my son standing in front of the machine. She still has a handful of quarters but does not give my son one even though she used his quarter in the machine.

This girl cannot be much older than my son. In fact, I would say that she is maybe eight at the most. So I try not to fault her for her bad manners. She basically stole from my son but maybe it was a mistake. The entire thing happened in less than one minute so maybe she was just unaware.

But here is where it gets good.

She goes to their table where they are still waiting for food. Her family is sitting at the closest table to the game area. Three feet away at the most. The little girl says to her mother, “I got this bouncy ball for only a quarter because that little boy had a quarter in the machine.”

So she knew? She understood? But she did it anyway?

Here is where it gets even better.

The mother says, “That is great honey. That was a deal!” I hear the entire conversation. I am stunned. I don't even know what to say.

This is not a poor family. Two parents. Four kids. All of them wearing name brand clothing. Parents wearing expensive name brand clothing. They can afford to eat there and clearly they can afford to pay full price for a bouncy ball.

Seriously? Congrats on stealing the quarter from my son? I really am speechless.

It is only a bouncy ball but what kind of lesson does that teach my son? What do I say to him? He is about to cry. He generously gave his bouncy ball to his two year old sister who lost hers. He figured that he could get another one but this was before realizing that he only one quarter left.

But I was happy to give my son another quarter for instantly jumping to his sister's rescue before she had a meltdown. He is a good kid. Kind. Caring. Always looking out for his sisters in between beating them to a pulp.

We end up at the table right next to these people. My son and I are talking about what happened. He tells his daddy that a girl stole his quarter and seemed happy about it. I quickly explain the whole thing to my husband. At the end, my son points right to the little girl and says, “That's her!”

Awkward! Well not to me. I just smiled and told him that it was not nice to point. I also see the wife whispering to the husband. Maybe telling him what happened? Not sure.

We get back to our dinner. A few minutes later I look back at the table that the  family is sitting at and notice only the husband and one son sitting there. The husband makes eye contact with me and smiles. I smile back. Involuntary reflex. A few minutes later they are gone too.

I then take the opportunity to explain to my son that was not a very nice thing that little girl did. It was not thoughtful and that it is stealing to take someone elses money no matter small the amount.

An employee cleaning tables overheard me. She said, “That is ridiculous. I saw the whole thing from the start and I cannot believe that the parents let that child get away with that. Shows you money cannot buy you manners.” She also told me that I had a good kid. Of course I already knew that but it is nice for the occasional outside confirmation.

We head to the bathroom and I notice that this family has moved to another table on the other side of the restaurant. After they finished eating. They picked up all of their drinks and everyone moved. Why? Because of us? Because of their embarrassment?

What would you have done? It now seems like so much more than a quarter.

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29 Comments Leave a Comment »

  1. Miss Blondie

    WoW!! I don’t even know what to say! They should be embarrassed!! Some people!

  2. OMG, you know what? Contact your local paper and submit this story. I think this sort of rudeness should be outed in your community, and these people be told OUTRIGHT that they are the biggest jerks ever, and teaching their child to steal is abso-friggin-lutely wrong!

  3. OMG what idiots! So teach your child they can have whatever they want even if it doesn’t belong to them?

  4. I’m not sure what I would have done on your end, but if I had been that girl’s parents, I would have made her give that ball to your son! And people wonder why kids are so bratty these days (as a general population). My husband sees it every day. He’s a college prof, and the sense of entitlement we see from these kids astounds us both. He doesn’t teach at some fancy schmancy private school either. You’d think we’re old, but we’re really not. I’ll only be 30 later this year.

  5. I am a bit stunned. Yea, it’s just a quarter, but really…they didn’t reprimand the little girl? If it had been one of my kids that did that, they would have had to give your son the ball and apologize to you all. Of course, my girls would not have done that. What bad manners!

  6. Heather

    I CANNOT believe that instead of giving your son her ball – which was the right thing to do – they UP and MOVE! That is insane! So it’s ok to steal, as long as you can avoid those you steal from. Nice, that’s a great lesson to teach your kid. OMG

  7. What a rotten little brat – and lousy parents! If that would have been my daughter, I’d have made her give the ball to your son!!

    You know me, I would have said something to the parents about how the kid behaved. 😉 They thought they were embarrassed, haha, they REALLY would have been embarrassed by the time I’d be done. 😉

  8. AJ

    That’s horrible. If my kid told me they had stolen a quarter like that I would make them march their butts over and apologize and give the quarter back. It amazes how in this day in age manners have disappeared. It’s very sad. I think you did the right thing.

  9. Mom

    You know, my first instinct was to say that after hearing the mother tell the daughter how great that was… I would have asked the mother for my child’s quarter back.

    However… people are crazy these days and you never know how somebody might react.

    I’m stunned that she didn’t at least attempt to give you the quarter after she realized you were aware of the situation. Yet I’m not really surprised. So many people in today’s society are just plain rude and all about getting that free ride…

  10. thats honestly the wierdest thing, but w/ all i have seen this week, i bet she is a bitchy mom blogger that gets her kicks off of putting other people down.

    I can give you a few names to look into..LOL~

    ~trisha

  11. LMAO Trisha!! Can we make our own list? LOL

    Yeah, like I said in the forum, that’s ridiculous! And I would have confronted the parents. It’s not that it is just a quarter, it’s THE PRINCIPLE.

    Other people’s kids, man!

  12. Wow, I don’t know what I would have done. If I had the guts I would have approached the mom and dad but I’m not gutsy like that.

  13. Christine

    That is some bad parenting on their part!

  14. Kimberly

    Wow! I frequently think nothing will surprise me and then…..something does. I can’t believe the kid or the parents…..wow!

  15. Wow! I think I would’ve handled it the same way you did because I don’t like to confront people, LOL. But holy cow, I can’t believe the nerve of some people. Why would you want to teach your child it’s okay to steal? I wouldn’t be surprised at all if those parents are bailing that same little girl out of jail in the future.

  16. You should have addressed the mother directly and gotten your son’s quarter back. especially after they moved away from you.

  17. Toni @ The Mud Bug

    I personally would have gone up to the Mother/Father and told them to give you your quarter back. I would have said that it is not the quarter but the principle. That was rude and completely wrong. I do not get some people.

  18. You did a much better job then I did. I have my own issues with Fuddruckers but thats a store thing. I would have told my son to go right up to the parents (with me behind him) and explain what happened and request his quarter back.

  19. I read this to the Tour Manager last night. We both shook our heads in digust; we know people like this. See them daily, I’m afraid.

    I hate to say it, but confronting them would have been fruitless and possibly ugly. The best thing you can do is teach your kids to be better people.

  20. My family in that situation… Hailey, (4 yr old) would have definitely started throwing fisticuffs to defend her (or her sisters) quarter. Olivia (5 yr) would have demanded a quarter back from rude girl. Elizabeth (1 1/2) would have either cried uncontrollably or gone vampire on rude girl. Wifey or I, would have walked over to un-parenting parents table and insist on reimbursement.

  21. That really is horrible. I commend you for not making more of a scene like I would have. I would have been saying the same thing to my DD but LOUDLY (before they moved) so they had a real reason to be embarrassed.

    Curious to know what they told the restaurant to move…maybe “we don’t want to sit next to those ppl b/c my daughter stole from their son and I praised her for it, and now we look like the pathetic family.” Pls tell me what she looks like so I can be on the lookout for her and her bad mannered children now that I live in Atl. lol

  22. Amazing story. I thought when you mentioned the mother being away from the table she was off getting some quarters in change to give to you. How strange they moved to another table. I probably would have done what you did, but I doubt my kids would have let it go so well.

  23. Are you kidding me!!? What a joke of a mom/dad!! When you said the mom praised her for it I thought, maybe the mom wasn’t really listening to the daughter due to being in conversation already? (maybe?) You are a MUCH better person than I would have been. I wouldn’t have been ugly by any means but I SO would have said something…usually sarcastic!! LOL! “Um, I’m sorry to bother you but I couldn’t help overhear you congratulate your daughter on scoring a quarter for her ball… at my sons expense! Well done! *smiling the whole time* Now, you wanna hand over the ball or a quarter so my son doesn’t loose complete faith in kindness to others?” I have come to feel that if they are gonna be so bold to be SO rude…why would I NOT stand up (politely!) and say something ~I don’t always..but occasionally I do.

    Hope your little guy wasn’t disheartened by that family. *love hearing how he so willingly gave his ball to his lil’ sister! so sweet!!*

  24. Living in Style

    I’d probably confronted the parents about it. Not a very good thing to do on the part of the kid and the parents should have done something. And if that happen to my child while I was there I’d probably scolded the other kid. If the parents confronted me on why I scolded their child I will tell them upfront what their child has done. That should teach them something.

  25. Lucy

    Im finding that fighting these battles is worthless lately. If the parent is going to teach their kid those values then there really is no reasoning with the parent. In fact it seems like some families would have enjoyed to argue with you. We have had a few situations over the past year ourselves that have left my mom group wondering what the hell is happening to peoples respect for each other.

    All I can say is wow…

    Lucy
    postpartumillness.com

  26. Wow, that is so crazy. That girl is growing up with the wrong ideas in her head. Poor thing, I have no clue what I would have done.

  27. Eileen

    I thought the mother was distracted and wasnt listening…four kids and all. And later they went missing? I was thinking maybe the mom took the daughter outside for a lil talk! But then thought, where is the apology! I actually was sitting here with my mouth agape…NO WAY!
    I guess the best you can do is teach your kids right as you cant really make a big stink in a restaurant, especially these days you dont know how a person might start a physical fight. I read the one response to write to the paper but dont know if they would even count it as a human interest story. So many just dont seem to care. man…cant believe this mom said the lil girl got a DEAL. a DEAL? Stealing is not a deal!
    I have to wonder what the dad was smiling at. He really thought this was funny? Maybe they ARE so well off that they really think nothing of money. There would be no way to teach them about manners if they are that way. Wow…a great generation we have coming up if parents teach their kids this. Sad.

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